Circuit

The Norwegian International is back!
Date: 11/10/2022 2:22 PM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
After a three-year break, the FZ FORZA Norwegian International kicks off today for what will be four days of tournament. All matches will be streamed on badmintoneurope.tv.

After some tough years due to the pandemic, the European Circuit has finally seen a return to normality in 2022 and just like many other tournaments, the FZ FORZA Norwegian International is also making a comeback, with its last edition having taken place in 2019.

The coastal city of Sandefjord, south-eastern Norway, will be the host once again. With only three other European tournaments left in 2022, this will be one of the last opportunities before the Christmas break to earn important wins.

In the main draw, the seeded entries feature two Centre of Excellence players. Slovakia’s Martina Repiska tops the women’s singles seeded list, which also includes other strong players such as Ukraine’s Polina Buhrova, Czech Republic’s Tereza Švábíková, and Ireland’s Rachael Darragh. 

Fellow Slovakian player Milan Dratva, sixth seeded, will have to face tough opponents as the men’s singles seeded players presents some contenders from Chinese Taipei, a strong badminton nation, and Sweden’s Felix Burestedt will be the event’s top seeded. In the qualification round, CoE player Shaun Ekengren, also from Sweden, will have to work his way through three matches to qualify for tomorrow’s main draw. 

Excited to be finally playing at home again
There will be, of course, many Norwegian names looking to succeed on home soil. The home favourites will certainly be Torjus Flaatten/ Vegard Rikheim. The pair are delighted about the FZ FORZA Norwegian International being back. 

“It’s been frustrating with the cancellation of the tournament in the previous years, so we are really looking forward to playing an international event in our country again”, explained Rikheim. “There are more familiar faces in the hall and in the stands, and that’s exciting, but there’s also more expectation on us to perform. That’s a fun challenge”.

The Norwegian duo was close to winning a medal at this year’s European Championships, reaching the quarterfinals, and have then travelled around some Asian tournaments in the summer — including the World Championships.

“The trips in Asia have been fantastic. We wanted to travel there to test the level and see what we needed to focus on in our badminton”, said Flaatten. “We have played some of the best pairs in the world — experiences like that are key for us to develop”, added Rikheim.

Flaatten and Rikheim are currently their country’s highest-ranked players of all five disciplines. Playing an international tournament on home soil will motivate them to deliver, and this year’s experiences make them push for more for what’s to come. “We’re happy to have qualified for the World Championships, and we would like to do that for 2023 as well”, concluded Rikheim.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Norwegian International
No need to travel to Norway to experience everything that will be happening at the FZ FORZA Norwegian International 2022. Besides all matches being streamed on badmintoneurope.tv, Torjus Flaatten and Vegard Rikheim will be doing an Instagram takeover tomorrow, Friday 10th November, when the main draw starts. 

Follow us on Instagram at @badminton_europe to get an exclusive look into what’s happening on and off court!
©badmintoneurope.com. All rights reserved.

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